June 25, 2016

Shingles

Shingles (herpes zoster) facts

  • Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash.
  • Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.
  • Older adults and individuals with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk for developing shingles.
  • Shingles symptoms and signs include
    • one-sided stabbing pain,
    • tingling, itching, burning, stinging sensation that precedes the appearance of the rash by a few days,
    • headache,
    • fever and chills,
    • nausea,
    • body aches, and
    • fluid-filled blistering red rash on the torso or face.
  • Shingles is most often diagnosed by your doctor solely based on the appearance of the characteristic rash.
  • Shingles can be treated with antiviral medication and pain medication.
  • The prognosis for shingles is generally favorable, though some individuals can experience complications. The most common complication is postherpetic neuralgia, which is persistent nerve pain after the rash disappears.
  • There is a vaccine available to help prevent shingles for certain individuals. Continue Reading
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Reviewed on 5/18/2016